the BMW iX debuts in Singapore.

The BMW iX is a new EV flagship that’s more mobile lounge than car.

BMW was one of the first luxury car companies to recognise the importance of electric mobility, which led to its creation of the BMW i sub-brand back in 2011 to explore and develop electric car concepts and ideas. Despite the initial fanfare and its decade in existence however, up till this year the whole project had fostered only two models – the i3 city car and i8 sports car – hardly an extensive collection of work. And while the unapologetically conventional iX3 SUV will no doubt sell well, something bolder is needed to grab the eyeballs.

And this is that something. The BMW iX is the, erm, eye-catching flagship to the company’s EV lineup (until the i7 luxury saloon comes along, that is), and it has just gone on sale in Singapore. Not only is it equivalent in size to the X5 SUV, it’s priced the same too. The iX is currently priced from S$391,888 with COE, S$9,000 less than the X5.

leading the charge.

One variant of the BMW iX is available here for now, the xDrive40, which features two electric motors (one on each axle, for all-wheel drive) to give power and torque outputs of 326hp and 630Nm. A 71kWh battery provides up to 425km of range.

The iX showcases BMW’s next generation of electric drive technology, which is not only more compact, but allows for faster charging too. Plug the iX into a 150kW DC fast-charging station, and you could gain as much as 95km of range in just 10 minutes, or go from 10% to 80% battery charge in just over half an hour. That said, do note that the most powerful public chargers in Singapore at the moment can only charge up to a rate of 50kW.

BMW is offering buyers here the option of two charging plans. For residents of private properties, a BMW Wallbox Plus (and installation) will be provided, which can charge at a rate of 11kW. For everyone else, BMW has partnered with Shell, offering iX owners a subscription package of 10,000kWh for 3 years at Shell Recharge stations with no monthly cap for charging, approximately 50,000 km of driving range.

a car to lounge around in.

The major highlight of the BMW iX – apart from the fact that it’s all-electric – is its lounge-like interior. With no major mechanical components to accommodate, the designers were able to make the cabin an airy and spacious place to be. 

Minimalism and warmth are the order of the day, so the Curved Display (that’s the collective name for the 12.3-inch instrument panel and 14.9-inch infotainment screen) appears frameless and freestanding.

Panels, buttons and shutlines overall have been cut down, and much effort has been spent hiding technology away out of sight in a design approach BMW calls “shy tech”. So for example, the speakers have been hidden away in the doors (and optionally in the seats as well), and the touch controls on the centre console light up when the car is on.

Three theme options are available for the interior, all of which feature different upholstery colours, patterns, and materials. Other highlights include open-pore wood panelling for the centre console, and crystal glass switches for the gear selector, volume dial and rotary iDrive controller, and electric seat controls. 

greater digitalism.

The BMW iX debuts the 8th generation of the iDrive infotainment system, which brings 5G connectivity, faster processing speeds, smarter voice recognition, and spiffier graphics. One cool function of the iX’s new smarts is augmented reality-assisted navigation, where, when navigating confusing junctions (if you’ve driven in Kuala Lumpur before, you’ll know what we mean), a live video feed can pop up with an arrow guiding you to the correct route to take.

Driver assistance has been improved too, with systems such as forward collision warning, active cruise control, lane keep assist all receiving upgraded functionality. With the processing power onboard the new OS, BMW says the iX will be capable of Level 3 automated driving when legislation for that gets sorted out.

futr friendly.

Finally, with the iX, BMW has attempted to address the murky debate of an EV’s impact on the environment. Amongst other things, critics of electric mobility contend that EVs can be up to twice as polluting to manufacture than a conventional internal combustion car, a point that is obfuscated to the public because EV proponents focus only on the car’s cleanliness during usage. 

To that end, BMW has taken care to point out the measures it took to ensure the iX is produced as sustainably as possible. That includes sourcing the cobalt and lithium for the batteries from controlled, trustworthy sources, using only renewable green power to produce the iX (at BMW’s Dingolfing plant) and the battery cells for all of its 5th-gen electric drivetrains, and sourcing aluminium made only using solar power.

In addition, recycled materials play a significant role in the iX, including aluminium (for the castings used to manufacture the car); old fishing nets (for the carpets and floor mats); polyester (for the microfibre fabric upholstery); and plastics (for the door panels, front bumper apron, and other parts). The wood in the interior is also sustainably sourced and FSC-certified, and the leather is tanned using olive leaf extracts instead of traditional chemicals.

see it for yourself.

If you’d like to check out the iX for yourself in person, BMW is displaying the car at EV Weekend at The Forum B1 at Resorts World Sentosa (at the Casino drop-off point) till 12 December 2021, as well as at the Christmas Wonderland at Gardens by the Bay till 2 January 2022.

Curious to see if you should pay EV Weekend a visit? Check this out!

jonathan lim

As the editor of evo Singapore, Jon drives fast cars (and cars fast). He also enjoys making everyone cringe with his bad puns.

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